Switzerland can be discovered by trains, buses, boats and scenic mountain trains. Use the Swiss half fare card to get one month’s of half-price travel, while children under 16 travel free of charge when accompanied by an adult who is a holder of a Swiss Family Card.
Exclusive limited-time Summer offer: use promo code 8SUMMER19 to get NZ$140 off bookings of NZ$1500 or more. Offer ends 25 June 2019.
Swiss Half Fare Card
This card provides savings up to 50% off for travel on most trains, boats, and buses in Switzerland
- 50% discount on most trains, buses and boats for one month
- Issued as a paper document
- Discounts off 1st and 2nd class travel
- Free Swiss Family Card: Children under 16 travel for free with a parent or legal guardian
WING SHAN Y
How does it work?
Rail Passes in 3 steps
1. Pick the right rail pass
Rail passes can be booked for travel in one specific country or you can choose one of a few pre-selected country/region combinations. Extensive travel plans? Try the Eurail Global Pass offering train travel in 31 different countries - including Great Britain.
Once you've selected your pass, its price will depend on the class of service selected, passenger type, and the number of rail travel days.
2. Reserve your seats
Most trains in Switzerland do not require reservations. You can simply board with your rail pass and take any open seat.
3. Activate and travel
Your pass was pre-validated at the time of booking, it is now valid for use for the duration you selected. You're all set and ready to explore.
More than just trains
Main discounts and bonuses in Swiss Half Fare Card
- 50% discount when travelling on board trains.
- 50% discount when using urban public transport in 75 towns.
- Free travel for children under 16, accompanied by a parent, holder of a Swiss Family Card.
From our travel community
You may also be interested in
Common Questions, Simple Answers
Q. What happens if I don’t fill out my rail pass before boarding the train?
A. Those who travel with a rail pass in which the travel date is not filled in the travel calendar box risk payment of a full fare ticket and a fine.
Q. What do I do with my luggage?
A. Once on board you’ll need to find a place to put your bag(s). Small and medium sized bags typically fit on racks located above the seats. Larger suitcases and items can be stored in racks found near the train door entrance.
In addition, you’re responsible for your luggage. The railways assume no responsibility in case of loss or theft of baggage carried on board.
If you’re traveling on Eurostar, Thalys or a TGV, you’re limited to two large items per traveller (maximum 85cm in any one dimension), plus one small item of hand luggage. On most high speed trains there’s room for luggage above the seats and for larger items at the end of each coach.
Be advised that when traveling on Eurostar, Thalys or any French train, you must properly label your bag(s) with your first and last name. In general, it is a good idea to keep luggage tags on your baggage for easy identification.
Q. How much luggage can I take on the train?
A. Technically, you’re not restricted in terms of luggage. However, keep in mind that you’ll need to carry your bags through the train station and onto the train. Once on board you’ll need to find a place to put your bag(s). Small and medium sized bags typically fit on racks located above the seats. Larger suitcases and such can be stored in luggage racks found near the train door entrance.
Be aware that you are responsible for your luggage. The railways assume no responsibility in case of loss or theft of baggage carried on board.
When traveling on a Eurostar, Thalys, or TGV train, you are limited to two large items per traveller (one large item per child on Eurostar trains), maximum 85cm (33 inches) in any one dimension, plus one small item of hand luggage.
Your bag(s) must be properly labeled with your first and last name. In general, it’s a good idea to keep luggage tags on your baggage for easy identification.
Q. Can I choose a specific seat when booking a train ticket?
A. At this time, we are unable to offer this service. Unlike airlines, most rail carriers do not offer the possibility to select your specific seat.
Q. Is it possible to have travellers of different genders in the same sleeping compartment?
A. For gender specific compartments, men and women must be in separate sleeping compartments. However, if you reserve all beds within a compartment, you may mix genders.
Gender-specific compartments include private, double, triple, deluxe double, deluxe triple, and quad sleeping compartments. If your traveling party doesn’t fill the compartment, you will be divided by gender.
Q. What do I do if my train goes through a country not listed on my rail pass?
A. If your train travels through a country not listed on your rail pass, even though the country of origin and country of arrival are covered by your rail pass, you need to purchase a ticket for the uncovered portion of the journey. We suggest doing this at a ticket counter in advance. You don’t need to buy a ticket for the entire journey, just the section not covered by the purchased rail pass.
Q. Will I be sharing my sleeping compartment with strangers?
A. If you book a reservation for a bed in a compartment that can accommodate more people than are in your traveling party, yes, additional people may be in the compartment. It’s also important to note that couchette accommodations are usually not gender specific.
Q. It looks like my train ticket does not include a reservation. How can I add one?
A. Whenever possible, train tickets sold by Rail Europe include a reservation. If you received a ticket without a reservation, it typically means that the train you’ll be traveling on doesn’t require a reservation, and in most cases is non-reservable.
Q. Are there facilities on board for disabled travellers?
A. Special amenities for disabled travellers are offered on trains and at many train stations, and are clearly indicated with pictograms (for telephones, toilets, elevators, etc.).
Special equipment is also available for use by disabled travellers but must be reserved locally in advance. You can do this while you’re in Europe by inquiring at the train station or through your hotel concierge.
Be sure to specify if you need personal assistance (whether with a wheelchair, boarding, etc.).
Q. I’ve booked a print at home e-ticket. What do I need to do before getting on board the train?
A. Your print at home e-ticket will be forwarded to you as one of three methods:
- A PDF included as a link on your Rail Europe booking confirmation email
- A unique 6 character e-ticket confirmation code that, along with a photo i.d., is checked when on the train
- Sent via a separate email, in addition to your Rail Europe booking confirmation email, forwarded to you after purchase
Your Rail Europe booking confirmation will clearly indicate which type of print at home e-ticket is affiliated with the train ticket(s) you have purchased.
If you were signed into your account when you booked your print at home e-ticket, you can also find all PDF links in the booking history located in your dashboard, as well as the itinerary tab of our iPhone app or mobile site.
All print at home e-tickets must be printed before arriving at the train station.